tv CNN Saturday Morning CNN September 29, 2012 7:30am-8:00am EDT
i'm deborah feyerick in for randi kaye. >> i'm victor blackwell. five stoese're watching this morning. number one, the u.s. has warned iran to stop providing arms to syrian president al assad. hillary clinton asked syria's neighboring countries to refuse using the air space to transport those weapons. the u.s. announced a $15 million in nonlethal support for syrian opposition forces. staying in iran, the country's news agency was fooled by the folks at the onion. took credit for a story claims a gallup poll found that rural white americans prefers ahmadinejad over president obama. they removed the story once they realized the onion was not a legitimate news organization. our third story, president obama is now a net job creator. that's according to new data from the labor department.
about 4.3 million jobs were lost in the president's first years, but revised figures show about 4.4 million jobs have been recovered since then, including 125,000 jobs since early 2010. in money news, bank of america will pay more than $2.4 billion to settle a class action lawsuit over its acquisition of merrill lynch. investors sued in 2009 claiming the bank misled them over the financial health of both companies prior to the merger. it said it agreed to settle the dispute to avoid an expensive legal battle. and just five days before his execution, a pennsylvania man has been taken off death row, at least for now. a philadelphia judge ruled on friday that convicted killer terrance williams will get a new sentencing phase of his trial after it was revealed that authorities suppressed at the
hands of his victim. well, there were all sorts of expectations that mahmoud ahmadinejad would go after the bang at the u.n. this week. after all, his final address as president of iran, but he didn't, at least not at the u.n., saving most of his rhetoric for media interviews. ahmadinejad was relatively tamed compared to earlier years. he was insistent that his nation was committed to peace. jim walsh, an expert at international security at mit joins me now and, jim, what was your take on this speech? >> well, deb, i think you're right. i expected, as happens every year, ahmadinejad, well, i expect many different ahmadinejads. i expect the ones that has meetings like the two meetings i attended is kindler and gentler and the one that speaks in front of the general assembly is fiery to speak to that audience back home in iran or send the message to the world and didn't happen.
he was pretty tame all throughout. i think what we were getting was a message of, we're reasonable and we're willing to talk and that sort of sets the stage for what will happen the u.s. election and early next year. >> you know, jim, ahmadinejad, really, he's on his way out. the iranian economy is in crisis and high inflation and money has been choked off by sanctions and many iranians are embarrassed. is he becoming irrelevant now that he is really a in the last nine months of his presidency? his leadership there? >> you know, deb, i think that's a good question. i think we as americans, we think iran and we think ahmadinejad. you know, it has always been the case that in the iranian system, it's not the president, it's the supreme leader who calls the shots. now, ahmadinejad over eight years has come, you know, risen and gone down and risen and gone down in terms of his power, but, you're right to say that he's a
lame duck and they have a presidential election in june and he's down to his last, you know, little more than six months and beyond that, beyond that, within the last two years, he and his inner circle have come under increased pressure and even rumors he might be arrested or those around him arrested. his power has declined and it has always been about the supreme leader. i think he still has some residual influence because he's the president, but it's not nearly what most americans think it. >> matter of fact, while he was at the u.n. he was told that one of his top aides was arrested for making a comment that, apparently, insulted the supreme leader. let's talk about israel. took the president to task for his nuclear enrichment program and called for a red line saying diplomacy hasn't done anything to stop it, sanctions not so much. at one point in the speech, benjamin netanyahu drew his own red line. take a look.
>> where should a red line be drawn? a red line should be drawn right here. before, before iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. >> you know, what is really so fascinating about this is, you know, the iran supreme leader has not yet made the decision whether or not to build any sort of an atomic weapon. but, clearly, that is what everybody in that region is worried about. are we looking at a targeted military strike, another war, if, in fact, iran does go over that 90% mark that netanyahu is talking about? >> i think you're right to say, if they were suddenly to announce that they were pursuing
a nuclear weapon or kick out all the inspectors. the international atomic agency inspectors and go for 90%, i think that you could get a military strike. i do not expect that to happen. i don't think other folks expect that to happen. in the u.s., what are the consequences of a strike? i was part of a grup of 35 national security experts and retired generals and three former national security advisors to the president of the united states who all submitted signed to a report last week about what would the consequences be? i'm glad you said what you said because i think one of the consequences of striking now is that you would push iran towards the bottom. as you said, our national security establishment believes that iran has not yet made that decision. they're still sort of weighing their options and one of my fears is a guy who focuses on nuclear is if you attack them, then you're going to produce the very thing you seek to avoid they'll say, oh, yeah, we'll
show you because iran is one of those sorts of countries, very prideful. you know, you attack us, fine, we'll show you, we'll build a bomb. i do worry about that. i don't think we're at that point right now. >> what is also so interesting, the next leader who that face is of iran and what changes they're going to make. let me ask you about attacks. senator joe lieberman said he believes that iran is behind the cyberattacks between bank of america, jpmorgan chase and all that happening last week and he thinks it's in retailiation for the sanctions. do you believe that's the case? does iran have that capability? >> you know, i'm not a cyberguy. i would be sort of doubtful. i think, number one, there are lots of folks who have that motivation to go after city bank a and others and every day in the united states there are those who are sort of mounting cyberattacks against major u.s. companies. i have no particular knowledge
of that. in some ways, i think the point here is a good one. worth asking the question, why? we have a situation where we attacked their nuclear authorities, exactly, and in my own view, there are countries i don't believe the u.s. is one of these countries, but countries that are assassinating their scientists. again, i'm against the nuclear program, i think it's a bad idea, you should stop. if you attack them with cyberattacks, you know, they're probably going to retaliate. >> it's like poking the hornets nest. jim walsh from m.i.t., thank you so much. so interesting to see who iran puts forth in the next presidential election based on who the supreme leader decides is out front. thanks. >> thank you. an emotional encounter you do not want to miss. act actress gabrielle union travels to vietnam to meet with
a young girl who instead of going to school has to sell lottery tickets for food for her family. her story next in the cnn special report. we put a week of her family's smelly stuff all in at once to prove that febreze car vent clips could eliminate the odor. then we brought her family to our test facility to see if it worked. [ woman ] take a deep breath, tell me what you smell. something fresh. a beach. a clean house. my new car. [ woman ] go ahead and take your blindfolds off. oh!! hahahaha!!! look at all this garbage!!! [ male announcer ] febreze car. eliminates odors for continuous freshness, so you can breathe happy.
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well, speaking of stars, hollywood stars are coming face-to-face with women who are turning oppression to opportunity. "new york times" nicholas kristof and his wife sparking a new documentary as they travel to different parts of the globe. the special report for cnn, kristof sat down with these actresses to learn what they
learned about the women holding up half the sky. how a 15-year-old girl in vietnam inspired her. >> she's about 15, her mother had left her father because her father was abusiivabusive. his abuse was so epic he was famous in his community. the father is a clock and a watch repair man and everything is digital, so the business is not brisk. instead of changing occupations or picking up another job he came up with the bright idea for her to sell lottery tickets and she figured out a way to squirrel away money to get tutoring and get food for her and her brother and uniforms, book supplies and some days when she just wasn't going to be able to sell all of her lottery tickets and she was going to go home and be beaten. sir, do you know why she's
crying? could you tell us why she's upset? >> i could see in her face that there was a lot more to her story than even what she was willing to let on and i became a little attached, too attached, some would say. >> it does seem to me that her story reflects a real argument on why we should care about somebody in vietnam. tiny a amounts of money. the amount we spent on coffee can be transformative in the life of somebody like her and as well as the idea that our compassion shouldn't depend on the color of somebody's passport. >> exactly, exactly.
i think that's the point we all try to make. and it's a little bit of humanity. you must be so proud of her because she's such a great student and such a good salesperson. a a sense of pride. she's the best, she's the best -- >> yeah. >> so, what would she have to do -- when you absolutely refuse to see someone else'sokay, it d make you. >> you do work a lot with violence issues right here in the u.s. i'm curious, when you were working halfway around the world in vietnam with these girls, did it feel kind of the same? >> if kids in america could see what she went through and how she went through it, they could apply the same lessons to their own lives. helping and giving make the world go round.
we can all learn from each other. you are so beautiful and so smart. i know you will be very successful. we all have such hope for the world and, you know, i'm maybe a little selfish, i want to see that inspiration have an effect in my neighborhood and my family and i think what we created absolutely can have that effect. if people give it a chance. >> i'm very, very proud of you. >> looking in her eyes. well, next hour, we will hear from actress and activist america ferrera. how her trip was different from things she could have imagined. getting red ay for the presidential debate. obama and romney are getting as far away from each other as they can as they prepare to meet face-to-face. we'll explain.
whitney went from being joke to high school hero. >> when she found out she was a joke she turned her disappointment into inspiration. here's chris welch with her story. all right, we're having a tape issue. we'll have that a quick break. >> you're going to want to watch. [ man ] when i'm in my zone... every move i make is a statement... ♪
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>> reporter: a superstar practical practically overnight, 16-year-old whitney crop is a role model to any who's ever been bullied. >> we love you, whitney! >> reporter: but this sophomore's journey to stardom was no fairy tale when her peers picked her to the homecoming court as a joke, she had thoughts of suicide. >> i feel like trash. i feel like i'm a little thing no one really cares about. >> reporter: at her sister's urging, she decided to keep her title on the court. >> if i were in your position, that would be really hard to do. >> it's really hard to do because i thought at first of dropping out of the homecoming court. i'm not this joke everyone thinks i am. i can prove all these kids wrong. >> reporter: that's exactly what she's done and since then she's been swamped with support from the local hair salon that gave her a new do. >> to find out it was a joke, it
really touched me. >> reporter: to facebook with over 100,000 fans. >> it's cool to see e-mails she's getting and parents from all over the place telling their stories how it helped them and touched them. my daughter is out there as an inspiration to a lot of people. that's a really cool thing. >> see, you're like cinderella. mistreated, underappreciated, abused. after much support, you will have a great time at the ball. >> i thought no one cares about me and not even my own brother and sister care. they're proving they care, and the world not really about me but they care about the situation. >> reporter: folks from all over the state are here tonight and this group of girls traveled more than an hour. you left her home football game to support whitney. why? >> we wanted to show whitney our entire student body is completely 100% behind her. >> reporter: from being bullied
to being in the bullying bull pit. >> added goed a good story. how great is her sister. >> this is a life changing event. she will blossom and use her strength. sometimes when you're at your lowest and find the courage to be who you're meant to be. those children who elected her they should feel shame and realize you can't keep a good person down. >> absolutely. her sister says you own this, stand up in it, take the sash. she had a good time in it. >> and she looked beautiful. good for her and all those people who came out and said, you know what, we're behind you, made a feel good. >> told you it was a good story. back to the election and the presidential debate. the president and candidate are standing far apart but soon will be face to face. at shell, we believe the world needs a broader
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back to the 2012 race and the first obama-romney presidential debate is coming up on wednesday. both candidates are planning some prep time before, then and which will take them off the campaign trail. that does not mean the trail will be quiet. let's bring in cnn political editor, paul steinhauser in dai dairy, new hampshire. we'll get to why you're there. first, let's talk about the debates, why are the candidates taking the time right now, i guess they have a few days, that answers itself. what are they doing to get ready? >> reporter: they are getting ready because there is so much online when they face off for the first time. the president back in washington most likely getting ready for the debate, more prep time and answers and the same thing for romney back in massachusetts. listen to this. senator rob portman of ohio. he has done this before. he's playing the role of
president obama in these mock debates and done this for republicans in the past cycles. on the other side, senator john kerry of massachusetts, playing the role of fellow massachusetts mitt romney and john kerry knows a bit about debating, the democrats' 2004 nominee. and mitt romney goes to colorado monday and the debate is wednesday. besides the preparation, we're seeing both campaigns trying to low low expectations. not just campaigns, listen to governor romney. >> he's president of the united states and an eloquent speaker. >> he's a very eloquent speaker and in his debate last time with senator mccain, he'll be very eloquent. >> reporter: the whole idea is lower the bar and if you're doing well you beat expectations and win the debate, the spin
they're playing. listen to stephanie from the obama campaign. >> what history tells us that challengers normally win the first debate just by the fact they're standing on the stage with the president. that elevates them and normally come into this as underdogs. we're coming into this very realistic mitt romney is likely to win if he plays his cards right. >> reporter: while the candidates themselves are laying low today, the running mates will be in the spotlight. >> tell us about what paul ryan is doing this weekend while mitt romney is rehearsing and getting ready in massachusetts. >> reporter: you got it. in an hour he will be behind me. we're in dairy, new hampshire. not far from massachusetts. it is a battleground state with four electoral votes up for